Through the Eyes Of the Bold, Part 9

Today, as part of the continuing stocking mix theme, I will discuss the category of the Combo Body.

  • Contractor Body 10-15%
  • Combo Body 5-10%
  • Flatbed 20-30%
  • Service Bodies 30-45%
  • Plumber Bodies 5-10%
  • Van Bodies 15-25%
  • Dumps 5-10%
  • Other Bodies 5-10%

This body is also known as the USC or USC Combo Body, wherein the letters USC stand for Utility Service Combination. Basically, for those who aren't familiar, it is a service body where the end 24" compartments have been removed and in place of that, a 36" platform extending the floor is added. That platform becomes valuable as a work area out in the field, and usually has some short 18"-24" gates to help keep what's on the bed on the bed.

It is a separate category in our mix because it is such a useful body and is easy to sell. Customers can readily see the value in the platform.

Again, in my travels, I see combo bodies mainly on 450 and 550 regular cab and crew cab and they are generally 12' models. It is true that the 12' model is popular, but not so popular that you would stock nothing but that model. On the 12' model, the service body portion is 9' and the platform is generally 3'. The Combo Body is available in the 10' (7' Service Body, 3' platform) and it is also available, although extremely rare in the single rear wheel truck.

Although this body on my formula chart is only 5-10%, it still deserves some creativity in the mix. A small dealer stocking about 25 units, might stock 2 of the Combo Body. Based on that, I would stock one 12' and one 10'. I would make sure that the 10' was on a crew cab or a super cab and I would put it on a 350 chassis.

You can put the 12' model on a 350 as well. Some think that when it comes to a 12' Combo that it has to go on the heavier duty 450 or 550, but they have no real problem putting an 11' Service body on the 350. I think one might consider the other way around. The Service body has that rear compartment which is always full, the Combo has a work area that is not.

So, here's some ideas to get a mix of things for your Combo Bodies:

  • Get excited about the 10' model on the 350 or 450, but I prefer it to go on a Super Cab or a Crew Cab.
  • Consider one or both front raised compartments. This gives the Combo Body a great look from the side. It also gives the customer a great deal more storage and only needs to be stocked to sell. I have sold a number like that and they usually move out very quickly.
  • Consider this option for welders. To make this a great welder body, just have the body company delete the front compartment on one side so the Lincoln style welder will fit there, put a raised compartment on the opposite side with bottle brackets and rings. That rear work area is going to be of huge benefit to the welder.
  • Consider a 56" high body for a lot more storage. You lose the open top lids, but you get a much better benefit in general.
  • Consider the 14' long, 56" high body which is ideal for the 108" CA tilt cab! Sweet.
  • Consider the front compartment to be a 50/50 or a fully open transverse compartment. You can add a large sliding drawer for smaller items. It is hard to use the bed area on the Combo, so the transverse compartment is a huge benefit. If you have it in stock, you will have no trouble whatsoever selling it, but explaining it without the stock is a different scenario.
  • Consider options and accessories. Drawers, lighting, additional shelves, sliding trays, etc. Make it more useful.

People get the Contractor and the Combo confused all the time. The only thing that is the same about them is they both start with the letter "C." The combo is a service body with a work platform. The Contractor is a Flatbed with some boxes added. There is no real comparison between the two. They generally serve two different uses for different clients.

Remember that gross profit important. You will make more gross profit if you follow these suggestions, and, have more fun at the same time. Try some new things. Go for the gold. That's what the bold do.

No comments: